Categories
Journal

I am obsessed with love and its absence

I wonder what love is consistently throughout the day. I think about the young love, the mature one and after that. I dismiss my younger self’s drop of the hat fall in love with the man with a beautiful smile. I dismiss my crushes. I dismiss everyone I have ever felt like I liked or loved. The definition remains the same, but the scope keeps getting smaller. I like the idea of love but the world has corrupted it, inclusion of family, the idea of union involving families, idea of not involving families. It’s chaos in my head and my friends getting married and my friends dating to marry is not helping the case at all.
As a kid, I thought, I would have many children by this age. But I don’t know where I am heading. The only destination I see is toward’s an engagement party of my friend and the only concern is if my makeup order will arrive in time. Serves me right. I always considered myself as a person who’d marry the one I loved, without any conditions and then create a life together. I was against the idea of getting somewhere in life and then finding a partner from that platform and then strategically starting a family. I can safely say that I was living in a utopia and I have failed. In real life, all the combinations and permutations are inevitable to be encountered and me being pathetic in math, is bound to stumble. Let us see how this way of life goes. Though, I must say that it’s not that bad, just boring.

Categories
Journal

As long as I am not…

So much sadness and so much pain; I experience it quite often. But I once had a bout of extreme sadness, I never saw a doctor for it but I think it was depression. Shit. It used to come in the evenings like a suffocating blanket. And I’d cry myself to sleep and I’d wake up tired and then cry some more. I know what triggered it- chasing something worthless which deemed me to be aimless. I came out of that phase but I paid a price of setting low goals for myself. In retrospect, I learnt from the experience and also learnt the meaning of ‘never again’. But the experience also taught me something else- how easy and breezy everything is when you’re brain is not working against you. So now when things get very tough, like bad grades or maybe an argument, I might be upset, but a part of me split into another self at that moment to laugh at my own situation and the triviality of it. I am reminded of the comfort I have of my house, the comfort of secure relationships, the comfort of great nutritious food that I can hog on while sobbing. And I transition out of my sadness of my sense of being grateful to be in a position to experience this romantic sadness. That bout of D (I refrain from calling it out – depression- like it’s Voldemort) has shown me the extreme side of suffering and I know that as long as I am not experiencing that, I’ll be fine.

Categories
Journal

Worst cameras but best pictures, in and of those days

When friends plan to marry, I can’t help but look at our photos of the past. And I specifically remember the entire ‘feel’ we were indulging in, in those moments. Like in the first picture, we were dressed up for the farewell dinner but quite bored, in the second photo, we were very early to college and our fest was in the evening so we had nothing really to do but I was already wearing a lot of makeup, at 7:30 AM! The third photo of us must be from 1st or second year, during summers. Right outside the tiny photocopy store emanating even more heat. I had bought my first expensive shades and I can see them hanging on my shirt.
When I look at us from the past, I feel heat. I never remember college of winter season. It’s always heat, dust and ecstasy. The corridors of the college, the grey road to Kamla Nagar and Exchange Store of Civil Lines. We were extremely lucky to have the college life they show in the films. No studies, only exploring interests. This was an important part of our education. We had all the time in the world to understand ourselves, our relationship preferences, our proclivities toward certain idiocies, and our interests. We made all the mistakes in the world, so that we don’t have to make them again when the consequences would be bigger.
A decade later, here were are. A friend getting married. It feels like I nurtured her for this day, hahahahahah! but no. We made fun of marriages but we all looked forward to ours. And I am so happy that I get to see one of us making that decision finally. Long time coming. A decade later. A happy decade.

Categories
Journal

I don’t want to rate

I made a plan once, of taking away the power of the canteen incharge in school. I found a fly in my samosa and I wanted change. It was the 2011 you guys, revolution was in the Delhi air. So I made a few posters and stuck them around the school. Principal (Ms. Amos) was furious, said that the canteen sir has been working with the school for so long and what if a mistake was made? What if? As a punishment, I was to design a few pages for the school magazine. So basically nobody was punished. I miss those times now. No feedback was sought after every class, no assessment was done. People were forgiven and life was good.
But you know, we are never really happy. Did we not want accountability in the system? Did we not want to be heard? So what’s the problem with feedback system, the stars and the ratings? You’re right. There shouldn’t be any problem. But now that we are here, we don’t want to be turned into statistics. I don’t like to rate the man who delivered my groceries, I’d just like to offer a glass of water and bye bye. I don’t want to be the person who decided if he gets to keep his job. And people have bad days you know.
The worst was when I had to rate my classes, my courses and my teachers. Bad teachers also teach something and it’s fine. I don’t want optimal performance all the time from my educators. I just want communication.
“This rating business needs to stop” as I can imagine my painting teacher, Ms. Puri saying.

Categories
Journal relationships

The strange case of police case that all Indian men are scared of. Deserved.

The basic ‘demand’ of many families is quite simple, the girl that their son marry should not bring home a police case of exploitation. It never fails to give me great hearty laugh. Education? nope, hobbies? nope, ideology? what, no! it’s the character we are looking for in our new bahu, character of not filing a police complain against us.
All unmarried men are pissing their pants thinking WHAT IF we marry the girl who knows her rights? What if we end up paying for the historical injustices on women? What if she files a case against us (the family). It’s a very logical fear because these cases can really ruin one’s family just like cases of misogyny and dowry deaths had done before and continues till now. Why are men scared you ask?

Let us see.

Women have a right to live in the matrimonial home which means that women now cannot be thrown out like a disposable item. Once she marries a man, the house of the in- laws is her house also. This might be very uncomfortable for many, imagine, the son marries a girl the parents don’t like and now you can’t say no to her. The house that the parents made with their hard work, their Money and effort is now also a house of a woman who just came here. Wow. She also has a right to claim maintenance for herself and the children. She can also get the family arrested under domestic violence act. And this is the most feared one. Nobody wants to go to the jail.

But the most important subject of contemplation is – how many women had to die (more than 7000 women in the year 2019), how many women were silenced, how many women lost their chance at a dignified life just to become a case study for the law. Often time, I remember women like Virginia Woolf, Mary Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, Savitribai Phule and Rukmabai, who gave me the life I have today. My foremothers. Women who paved the path for us to live our lives to the fullest. To study, to write, to laugh and to just be. But in India, I must say that we women also owe our lives to all of those women who were burnt alive for dowry, who were killed in domestic violence, who were shunned just because of their gender. It’s because of their perils that we survive today. We walk with head held high, with a weapon called “Domestic Violence Act”. I don’t know if men and their families ever realize but the fear they feel is the fear that women have perpetually felt forever. How disabling it is to know that one can be penalized any second for maybe no fault of theirs.

I write this piece after atleast two of my brothers have shown concern about this law and how it works against men. I know my family, they are as sweet as a honey and I also know that the girls who marry my brothers would be lucky and live a life full of laughter joy and a lot of workout (of course). But historical injustices cannot be erased, they need to be rectified. And in that rectification some become scapegoats and some become victims. But that’s how balance is achieved. Victim is a victim irrespective of the gender, I understand. But I like to see men being scared for once. Hehe.Shall I welcome them to the club that we women are leaving? I think it’s too early to say that. Many battles to be won still.

Categories
Journal Love relationships

Love in my generation

I can only speak for myself but since this is my blog so I’ll take the liberty of generalizing things.
I have grown up listening to sad love stories. I read sad poets spending their entire lives mourning their love lost. They died thinking of the betrayals. A dignified life of a rejected lover. How does that look like now? Love is not the same anymore. It has lost its fidelity in the hashtags of revenge body, hookups, rebound and moving ons.

The assumption that this change is degradation should be challenged. First, to be affected by another being to the point to ruination sounds only romantic to the other ears, not to oneself. To the sufferer it’s a well of abandonment and depression. Why kill yourself for another mortal?

Moreover, to drown in pain for an abstraction like love, how vain? Who really knows what love is? Has it been defined? Especially a non- platonic love. For parents, friends, family one has a sense of responsibility, an attachment and affection. Time has sealed one’s relationship with them but for someone you met at the year 18 can’t be declared as the soulmate. Beware.

So it’s okay to move on and bulk yourself up in the gym after a heartbreak. There is no need to make an example of yourself as a true lover. Grip your heart, wrench it, tell yourself to be a little less human and carry to the next ordeal.

Categories
Journal

“To hear unwelcome truths”

Often I forget that I too am human and not an individual who perceives and engages with the world in her own ‘profound’ ways. I need to take myself less seriously. I try. At the end of the day there is no difference between me and that invisible virus. All striving to survive at the cost of something or someone else. Does this knowledge give me hope? Not really.

Categories
JassiGill Journal SidhuMoosewala

When I drink it black

A little flutter
Bhangra vibes
longing for a long beautiful track
deciduous forest?
the bamboo
blue skies
cotton clouds
almost feel the sweat
a fanny pack
earphones

Full volume
deafening
“tu haan bhi ni kardi gabru”
“tu naa bhi ni kardi gabru”
Sidhu Moosewala
Jassi Gill

Vijender Singh even?
A part of their league
punjabi hits
bright sun
Toronto Birmingham
immigrant but proud
Gangsters and bad raps
toned calves
sweaty tshirt
huffing and puffing
did I make it in 30 minutes? 5 kms?

Wonderful collage of my favs.

“tennu ki dassa me kudiye ni…..” Uff…


This is all I think of when I drink my coffee black in a lockdown- waiting to run my run in the open with Sidhu Moosewala and Jassi’s music as a true and quiet companion and Vijender Singh as competition.

Categories
Journal

What one really means

My mother says one thing but she means something else. I understand her beyond her words and I learnt this skill when nobody understood me. I was wondering about my communication. Why do I fail to get through? I realized that I expect people to understand my intention not through my words, but with a foundational trust and faith in me- that I will not be a bad person. So when I said, “Oh, I hate those people”, I wanted my friends to understand that I don’t hate those people, I just don’t appreciate certain traits in them and when I meet “those people” (whoever) I will be quite sweet and not hateful towards them. My expectations were very high and this is not how the world works. Then I realized that my mother does this same thing. She’d exclaim so many caste-ist statements at the same time befriend anyone who comes along. Here, I’d say- action speaks louder than words. I have known my mother all my life therefore I understand her communication and her intentions. But to expect the same from people who are not family is a no-no I have learnt.

So from now on I shall speak what I mean.

But what about romance then? How does one express love? When was I last able to express my affection through I Love You? Never. It takes more than that. Sometimes it also takes misunderstanding or rather super understanding of a few words and sentences. Like “I don’t want you to call me” means “Please call right now, in fact, don’t call, just arrive”. I believe that it’s a matter of luck to meet someone who gives you that chance in life where you don’t have to express but just be. A matter of luck, destiny.

Categories
Journal

Pandemic

I would like to go back to worrying about my love life because worrying about my father’s temperature is not ideal in this sweet weather. The hospitals are inundated, oxygen depleting like there wasn’t anything more precious.
Nobody really prepared us for this pandemic, not even the pandemic itself. So arrogant, strutting around with our Hindu pride- vegetarianism will save us… it did not. Nothing saved us. Like everything else, pandemic was late to reach us and when it did, it did good.